Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I am sure if you've been on an airplane in the last twenty years or so, you've thumbed your way through the SkyMall left conveniently in the seat-back pocket in front of you. Unless you remember to bring a book or magazine, it's pretty much your only reading option, aside from the aircraft safety card and the barf bag. Long story short, I had intended to read the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson on my twelve hour journey to Australia, but somehow managed to leave all three of them on the airport shuttle. So I guess I am going shopping.

When SkyMall first came onto the travel scene - back in the early 1990s - it struck me as odd that you would buy something from a catalog from 36,000 feet up, only to be delivered at a later date back on the ground. But with the explosion of Internet shopping and mobile devices, pretty much anything goes now.

I was in line to buy some slacks at JC Penny the other day, and the fellow in front of me was shopping at Amazon on his iPhone, while in line to pay for his Dockers. At least he wasn't driving. But the thing about SkyMall that is still odd to me are some of the products. Who buys this stuff? For example, right here on page 28 is The Worlds Largest Write-on Map. It's a 9'x13' laminated map of the world, showing "capitals, countries, major cities, up-to-date political boundaries, time zones, shipping lanes, nautical miles, ocean depths and more - all at a scale of 160 statute miles to the inch". Wow. I guess if you have a 9'x13' windowless wall you just haven't been able to find the right treatment for, this will do the trick. Or perhaps if you are planning a land invasion of say Bulgaria, this would come in really handy. Just $149 bucks, and you can have this baby in 2-4 days.

Or how about the Canine Genealogy Kit on the very next page. Says here it "analyzes your dog's DNA and provides scientific confirmation of the physical characteristics, behavioral tendencies, personality traits, and potential health risks your mixed-breed dog." Now I guess it would be helpful to know if your pooch has any health risks, but aren't you pretty much already aware of his physical characteristics, behavior and personality at this point? I mean, unless you are trying to exonerate him of some sort of crime, I just cannot see why you need to know the DNA of your mutt. But if that's your thing - and you've got $59.95 burning a hole in your pocket - you need only take the enclosed cotton swab and "simply rub it against the inside of your dog's cheek and send to the lab in the provided envelope." Be sure you have a ride to the hospital all lined up before hand, so that when he bites your hand off, you won't be completely up a creek. They'll probably throw a rabies test in for free.

Oooh, and how about an Indoor Dog Restroom (the pet stuff is the best). This glorified door mat gives dogs a place to relieve themselves when they can't get outside. They say it is "made of antimicrobial, porous artificial turf that gives off an organic scent to attract dogs... so they can be taught quickly that it is an acceptable spot for relieving themselves." Further, it can hold up to two gallons of "liquid". Now come on. What in the world are you supposed to do with a mat soaked with with two gallons of dog pee? And is it too much of a leap to think that the "organic scent" that tells them it is acceptable to relive themselves on it isn't going to result in more than pee? Take your dog for a walk for goodness sake, or save the $99.95 and just let him crap on your existing door mat. It's cheaper, and you can just throw it away.

But my favorite item in this edition by far is the King Tut Life-Sized Sarcophagus Cabinet. That's right, a 6'3" King Tut sarcophagus that opens to reveal 14 storage shelves, sitting right in the middle of your living room. Now if you are like me - and I hope you're not - you wouldn't pay $895 for a sarcophagus and then use it to store knick knacks. Sure I'll put some tsotchkes and souvenirs in it for the time being, but when my time approaches, I am knocking those shelves out, and getting ready for that final journey in style. Do you know what a real coffin will run you these days? A pine box will set you back $985 easily, and this thing is totally tricked out with "hand-painted jewel tones". Although I guess I am going to have to put some handles on the sides and install some type of latch to ensure the top stays shut during transport. The last thing I want it is to make an unscripted appearance at my own funeral, if you catch my drift.


  1. Oh, Seymour! You always have me laughing out loud! It was the dog pee-pee mat that got me. Great post today. Enjoy Australia!! I'd love to go there after I saw it covered for 4 days on Oprah!

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